That battle was won long ago by the OTAs, spending massively on Pay Per Click search engine marketing, using your hotel’s name and aggressively driving potential customers direct to their OTA websites.
You never had a chance to compete in this expensive battle and today there simply is too little direct hotel bookings left through your website for OTAs to be really interested in…Today OTAs are entirely focused on stealing bookings from other OTAs.
For customers’ sake, hotels and OTAs are supposed to be business partners, right? Lots of hotels try to fight this battle, but the majority are either ill-prepared or only half motivated to actually fight.
The battle with OTAs will not go away though and the only sure thing is that at least some OTAs will always continue to find new ways to outsmart and undercut hotels and competitors.
Ranking on major OTAs is driven my many factors, but conversion, actual sales volume and rate parity are all very important factors, so once rate parity improves the conversion will go up, sales will go up and then rankings will improve, causing a positive domino effect and a lot more bookings.
Tell the OTA that you will ask all customers at check-in how they have booked the hotel and if any of them mention the concerned OTA that you will NOT accept them, and that you will show the customer that you have informed the OTA that you will not accept any of their customers. Make sure you know in advance how to handle them, and perhaps help them with alternative accommodation, or treat them as walk-in customers.
Once that customer understands that the OTA they have used to book your hotel was informed by you and therefore wrong, they most likely will seriously complain to the concerned OTA. I hope you now realise that winning this battle is not as hard as you might think.
Today’s frequent traveler has become more loyal towards metasearch websites than towards a specific OTA.
So, let’s look at the question that often raises the most serious concern: I know you are not sure those bookings will be replaced by your own website or other OTAs. Having one less OTA trying to undercut others on metasearch websites means better rate parity for your hotel.